Charter Fishing Essentials

You’ve booked your Milwaukee or Racine fishing charter. Now, what to bring? To help you answer that, here’s a simple detailed guide of what you need to bring when you go charter fishing.

But, first things first, make sure you have your fishing license! You will need a Wisconsin Fishing License that includes a Great Lakes Trout/Salmon Stamp to embark on charter fishing in Racine and Milwaukee. Be sure to get this before you arrive at the marina. Licenses are available online through the Wisconsin DNR or you can also get your license at a number of local fishing stores.


Regardless of the time of year, it is important to bring a lot of layers if you plan to go out and explore the open Lake Michigan water. In case of an early morning departure out of the Racine or Milwaukee harbor, don’t rely on the sun to keep you warm. Also, be sure you can take off layers of clothing when necessary, and put them back on if necessary!

Windbreaker – Protects you from spray and helps to keep you warm, especially if you are leaving the dock early in the morning or on a breezy day.

Shorts – Ideal for hot summer days, but being on Lake Michigan for several hours can get a bit chilly, especially with a lake breeze. Bringing long pants is recommended as well.

Lightweight shirt – This will protect your shoulders and arms from sunburn.

Light colored clothes – Light colors are great for reflecting the sun to keep you feeling cool even during hot weather.

Gloves – Optional, but can help protect your hands from line cuts, sunburn, and rain. This is Wisconsin, after all!

Non-skid rubber-soled shoes – The top choice is sneakers. Avoid wearing flip flops, and work boots are discouraged as they scuff the decks and are slippery.

Weather Protection

You may have already thought about sunblock for your day on the water, but don’t forget a few other essentials!

Sunscreen – Bring one that protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Please, do not bring spray on sunscreens as it stains the seating.

Lip balm – Optional, helps prevent your lips from becoming chapped out on the water.

Hat – Those with brims give you shade and lowers your risk of sunstroke.

Polarized sunglasses – Cuts through the glare on the water so you will have a good look at your target fish.

Rain Gear – Waterproof jacket and rain pants. You may need these items while on a fishing charter on Lake Michigan in both Racine and Milwaukee!

Charter Fishing Essentials


Be sure to bring a variety of containers and bags with you, this allows you to bring your things on board without having to worry that they will be damaged by Lake Michigan water splashes!

Backpack – Any reasonably sized, sturdy bag will work. This way you have all of your items within arms reach.

Smaller cooler – Keeps your food and drinks cool while you are on board. Remember to bring LOTS of water & fluids to keep you, your friends and family hydrated!

Plastic bottle – Fill with your energy drink or water to keep you hydrated. No glass bottles as they could break.

Waterproof bag – Ideal for storing your electronic items (phone, camera, etc…) and other important documents like your fishing license

Large cooler – Use this to take home your catch after the Racine/Milwaukee charter fishing trip. This can be left in your vehicle to put the cleaned, bagged fish in.

Other Essentials

A few other things to consider bringing with you on your adventure! You’ve got your clothing arranged and you’ve packed your weather protection. Now to get your personal items in order, because the last place you want to need something and not have it is in the middle of Lake Michigan.

Seasick medications – In case you have issues with seasickness, medications such as Bonine or Dramamine are useful. Be sure to take several hours before the trip. You should also avoid mixing anti-nausea medications with coffee and eat a solid breakfast before the trip. Do not wait until you’re on the boat or begin to feel motion sick to take your remedy… once you start to feel the effects of motion sickness it is too late.

Bug spray – Keep in mind that there will always be bugs in places where there is water within Racine or Milwaukee, so you should be prepared when on a Wisconsin fishing charter!

Hand sanitizer – You don’t want to eat when your hands are covered with fish slime, right?

Camera – A smartphone or a camera will let you document your Racine or Milwaukee trophy catch. Wisconsin charter fishing trips are great experiences with friends and family, so you’ll want to take pictures of your memorable day!

Hand towel – You may want one or two since fishing can be really messy and also to help dry your hands off.

Once you have these few items ready, then we will help take care of the rest. You can leave your stress and worries behind for a few hours to fully enjoy your excursion on Lake Michigan in either Racine or Milwaukee, Wisconsin! We provide all necessary fishing equipment and use top of the line Shimano rods and reels as well as the hottest baits available!